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RULE §19.32Reporting an Unauthorized Discharge

(a) To report an actual or threatened unauthorized discharge of oil into Texas coastal waters, phone the General Land Office (GLO) at 1-800-832-8224. This line will be staffed at all times.

(b) The person in charge of the facility or vessel from which an unauthorized discharge emanates or threatens to emanate and the person responsible for the discharge both have the duty to immediately report the discharge to the GLO. Reporting by either of those persons or by an employee or agent of either shall satisfy the notice requirement.

(c) Immediately, for purposes of this section, means within one hour of the time the discharge is discovered. In determining immediate notification the GLO will consider the need for initial abatement, containment, and response actions, the accessibility of communication devices and the reasonableness of the person's efforts to immediately report, and whether the discharge could reasonably have been discovered earlier.

(d) Notification by any person who has been authorized or requested by the person in charge or by the responsible person to give notice of the discharge shall be imputed to the person who has the duty to report for purposes of determining compliance with this section.

(e) The notification, in order to be deemed complete, shall accurately describe the following:

  (1) the substance and quantity actually discharged or potentially dischargeable and the rate of discharge;

  (2) the time, location by latitude and longitude, N.A.D. 27 or N.A.D. 83, or by state plane coordinates indicating zone or by Universal Transverse Mercator coordinates indicating zone, if known, and the apparent cause of the actual or potential discharge;

  (3) the size of the area actually impacted by the discharge and the area potentially impacted and whether or not any environmentally sensitive areas will be affected;

  (4) the nature of any response actions undertaken and the identity of the person or discharge cleanup organization engaged or engaging in response activities;

  (5) the name and title of the responsible person, the person in charge, and the person reporting the discharge; and

  (6) the manner in which the responsible person and the facility or vessel involved in the actual or threatened discharge may be contacted.

(f) The duty to report is a continuing one where any material changes occur prior to the arrival of a state on-scene coordinator. Material changes include, but are not limited to, changes in the quantity, quality, or location of the discharge event. Both the responsible person and the person in charge have the duty to report material changes to the GLO.

(g) If an unauthorized discharge threatens to damage or pollute property other than that of the owner or operator or responsible person, the person in charge and the responsible person must make reasonable efforts to notify the owners of property threatened by the discharge. A reasonable effort to notify includes taking steps to identify and contact such owners within a time period that allows them to take measures to minimize damage to their property. In determining compliance with this requirement, the location of the discharge and the accessibility of ownership information will be considered.

(h) If the discharge immediately threatens public health, safety, or welfare, then the responsible person and the person in charge must notify the appropriate local health, fire, and law enforcement authorities.

Source Note: The provisions of this §19.32 adopted to be effective February 21, 1992, 17 TexReg 1109; amended to be effective March 6, 1995, 20 TexReg 1261; amended to be effective January 27, 2013, 38 TexReg 296

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